11-Day Essential Morocco Tour
Tour Route: Casablanca - Rabat - Fez - Meknes - Fez - Erfoud - Erg Chebbi - Tinerhir - Ouarzazate - Marrakech
Tour Code: ODY-MA-006
- Welcome to Casablanca, Morocco! Upon arrival, your private English-speaking chauffeur guide will meet you at the exit of the airport. After a short break, you will set off for the Hassan II Mosque. Combining the Arab Andalusian heritage and the local Berber culture, the mosque was built on the coast in the mid-1980s, so the views from outside were amazing. Enjoy your time visiting this landmark of Casablanca. Afterward, you will be escorted to your hotel for rest.
- After breakfast, head to the imperial city and present-day capital of Rabat. Discover the Hassan Tower, a minaret of the incomplete mosque, which the 4th Almohad ruler Yaqoub al Mansour was intended to build into the largest in the world for the time. Though unfinished, the tower still has a magical feel. Visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, where three royals were buried here: Mohammed V, Hassan II, and his brother, Moulay Abdellah. Continue to the Kasbah of the Udayas. Enter through the grand door into Rabat's old city center. Walk through the streets and alleys where locals still inhabit and see houses with white facades and colored doors. After the tour, depart for Fez.
- Among the four Imperial Cities in Morocco, Fez is the oldest and often considered the country's cultural capital. This walled city, a UNESCO Heritage Site, will transport you back to medieval times. Visit the ancient maze-like quarters of the Medina and spend half-day learning about the history and culture as you navigate the narrow and winding streets, traditional tanneries, and potteries. To the north of the Medina, you will meet another highlight today with a panorama view over the old imperial Fez city in all its immensity.
Afterward, visit the King’s Palace located in the Fes El-Jdid neighborhood, near the Medina of this imperial city. Then the remaining time of the afternoon is free for you to explore more this dazzling city has to offer.
- Not far from Fez, lies Morocco's best-preserved Roman ruins of Volubilis. Wander the expansive complex, exploring the still-intact columns of former buildings, large merchant homes, temples, and the colorful mosaics. Afterward, continue your journey to the whitewashed town of Moulay Idriss. Holding the mausoleum of Idris I, the first major Islamic ruler of Morocco, Moulay Idriss is considered the holiest city of Morocco. The Sentissi Mosque here, built in 1939, has the only cylindrical minaret in Morocco and is covered by green tiles.
After lunch, head to the Meknes. Though not as famous as other imperial cities, Meknes has its own charm and beauty. Spend some time to explore its ancient medina before taking a private transfer back to Fez.
- Continue your journey to the south towards Erfoud. Along the way, you will climb up and over the Col du Zad pass (2,178 m) through the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas mountains and see many Berber villages made up of traditional mud-brick buildings. Enjoy lunch in Midelt. Nearby the Moulouya River, Midelt sits in the apple city between the Middle and the High Atlas and makes a handy break between Fez and the desert.
Afterward, pass over the Tizi n'Talremt pass and travel into the Ziz Valley, known for its hidden oases and palm tree clusters. Finally, reach Erfoud, an oasis town in the Sahara Desert for the night.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- Start your day bright and travel to the Sahara Desert! This morning, you will pay a visit and learn about the Berber Tent handwoven by camel or goat hair by the Nomads of the Sahara. Later, join the ethnic Gnawa people and enjoy their traditional music performance.
In the afternoon, continue your journey to Erg Chebbi, an extensive sea of sand dunes covering an area of 13.5 square miles (35 square km). Change a 4-wheel drive vehicle and go deep into the fascinating Sahara Desert. Upon reaching Merzouga, check in to your camp and then take a camel safari to watch the colorful display as the sun sets behind the colossal dunes. Try sandboarding before returning to your site for dinner and a campfire under the starry night sky. *If you prefer, a traditional Berber tent can be arranged in advance.
Overnight: Erg Chebbi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- Wake early to catch the rising sun over the dunes. Later, you will take a private transfer to the Dades Gorge in the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, near the town of Tinerhir. On the way, you will also pass by the Todra Gorge. Enjoy your time for some photographs of the red cliffs with an average height of 400 meters or talk a short walk at the end of the Todra Gorge to get an impressive view of the huge rock walls. Afterward, continue on your journey to Quarzazate.
- Set off for the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you may see many times in famous movies, like Gladiator, Game of Thrones, and Black Hawk Down. You can overlook the splendid valley surrounded by a river while walking along the path of the castle. After that, leave for Marrakech and enjoy some free time there.
- In the lively and passionate Marrakech city, you will explore the magnificent historical buildings and have the chance for a pure Morocco experience. Start your city sightseeing from the brilliant Bahia Palace to the Saadian Tombs. After lunch, visit the Koutoubia Mosque and take a leisurely stroll around its garden. Continue you will visit the fabulous Jemaa el-Fnaa market. When the sun goes down, the market becomes more beautiful and active with various performances, activities, and stalls. Walk around the market to find out some interesting souvenirs or just take a seat for a traditional mint tea and enjoy some relaxing time.
- There are still many hips, as well as historic things to discover in the Red City of Marrakech. Today you will have enough time to explore it at your own pace. Think drinking spice-infused cocktails at an underground bar, watch artisans at work, dine at a rooftop restaurant high above the city’s buzzing medina...
- Enjoy some leisure time before being picked up and escorted to the Casablanca airport (about 3 hours' drive) for your flight back home.
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Any part of this itinerary can be altered to fit your needs, e.g. accommodation, add/skip city, tour length...